Professor Penney Lewis reappointed as Commissioner and Professor Sarah Green to step down from Law Commission

Professor Penney Lewis has been reappointed as Commissioner for Criminal Law for a further five years, the Government has announced.

Originally appointed in 2020, Professor Lewis will now serve until 31 December 2029, leading on projects to ensure that the laws governing areas such as evidence in sexual offences prosecutions, criminal appeals and contempt of court are modern, effective and fair.

Professor Sarah Green announced before reappointment that she will be stepping down as Commissioner for Commercial and Common Law from September 2024.

Sir Peter Fraser, Chair of the Law Commission said:

“I would like to congratulate Professor Lewis on her reappointment as a Law Commissioner. She has led her team on a variety of projects which have already started to deliver significant changes in areas such as intimate image abuse and corporate criminal liability.  Professor Lewis and her team are currently working on major recommendations for reforms in respect of evidence in sexual offences prosecutions and how criminal appeals can be made more effective.

“I would also like to thank Professor Green for her immense contribution to law reform over the past few years. This has included recommendations on important and fast moving areas of law such as electronic trade documents and digital assets. On behalf of everyone at the Law Commission I wish her all the best for the future.”

Professor Penney Lewis said:

“The work that the Law Commission does is extremely valuable. I am delighted to be able to continue contributing to that work, making recommendations to modernise and simplify the law and ensure that it is fair to those affected by it.

Professor Sarah Green said:

I have very much enjoyed my time at the Law Commission and I am incredibly proud of the recommendations and reforms we have made in commercial and common law, particularly in relation to electronic trade documents legislation, digital assets and arbitration.   I would like to thank my colleagues and my brilliant team at the Commission for their stellar work over the past few years, as well as all the consultees who have contributed enormously, and very generously, to our work. The Law Commission is a unique institution and I look forward to seeing its future successes.”


Professor Penney Lewis

Professor Lewis joined the Law Commission as Commissioner for Criminal Law on 1 January 2020. She was formerly Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics in the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London. She became Reader in Law in 2005, and Professor of Law in 2007. Her team’s current projects include Criminal Appeals, Contempt of Court, Evidence in Sexual Offences Prosecutions and Defences for Victims Who Kill Their Abusers. The Government has recently implemented recommendations from her team’s projects on Protection of Official Data in the National Security Act 2023, Modernising Communications Offences and Intimate Image Abuse in the Online Safety Act 2023, and Corporate Criminal Liability in the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023.


Professor Sarah Green

Professor Green was appointed as Law Commissioner for Commercial and Common law on 1 January 2020.She was previously Professor of Private Law at the University of Bristol and Professor of the Law of Obligations at the University of Oxford.  Before that, she had been a lecturer at the University of Birmingham and a software consultant at Accenture. In her academic work, she has written about a variety of issues including virtual currencies, blockchain issues surrounding intermediated securities, smart contracts, sale of goods law as applicable to digitised assets, and wage theft. Whilst at the Law Commission, Professor Green’s team was responsible for new legislation in the form of the Electronic Trade Documents Act 2023, which, by enabling 80-90% of all international trade transactions to be handled digitally, represents a potential $10 trillion in trade growth across the G7 and Commonwealth.  She has also produced recommendations on reforms of the law relating to Digital Assets, with proposals that have informed corresponding developments in other jurisdictions, as well as Intermediated Securities, Smart Contracts, DAOs and Arbitration.


The appointment process

Re-appointments to the Law Commission are made by the Secretary of State for Justice and are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. This re-appointment has been made in line with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

Professor Lewis has not declared any political activity.